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2021.01.17 10:00

What changes for Brits in Lithuania after Brexit?

Svetlana Naumčik2021.01.17 10:00

Following Brexit, finding a job in Lithuania will get more complicated for Brits. Here’s what you should do if you’re looking to live and work in Lithuania, writes Svetlana Naumčik, ILAW Associate partner.

The United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union and the post-Brexit transition period ended on December 31, 2020. From January, British citizens in Lithuania will be considered as third-country nationals and divided into two categories:

– Persons who obtained the right to reside in Lithuania by December 31, 2020 (those holding an EU Residence Certificate);
– Persons who did not obtain the right to reside in Lithuania by December 31, 2020 (not holding an EU Residence Certificate).

The EU residence certificates issued to UK citizens and their family members by December 31, 2020 are valid until their date of expiration.

UK citizens who obtained a EU Residence Certificate by December 31, 2020 can continue to live and work in Lithuania until their residency expires without the need for any additional work permits or documents. As of January 1, 2021, however, such certificates will not grant the right of free movement in the Schengen area.

Meanwhile, those who did not obtain one should apply for a temporary or a permanent Lithuanian residency at the Migration Department.

Read more: Lithuanian firms feel Brexit squeeze

The situation is more complicated when a Lithuanian employer intends to hire a UK citizen who doesn’t have a residency, as a British national can only be employed when they have obtained a national visa (D) or a temporary Lithuanian residence permit.

Until one of the aforementioned documents is obtained, a UK citizen’s employment in Lithuania is considered illegal, with fines payable by the employer. UK citizens do not need to obtain work permits for Lithuania and open job vacancies do not need to be registered with the Employment Services, which is mandatory before hiring other non-EU nationals.

Both UK citizens and their family members who want to change their EU Residence Certificate into temporary Lithuanian residence permits – as well as UK citizens who do not hold an EU residency but intend to work in Lithuania – are required to contact the Migration Department via MIGRIS electronic migration service and fill out an application form for a temporary Lithuanian residence permit.

Read more: Lithuania to accept driving license as ID, easing process to open bank account

MIGRIS application forms can be filled out either in Lithuanian or in English at www.migracija.lt. Once the application is done, the system allows the applicant to submit the form and select a specific date and time for an appointment with the Migration Department at a specified location in Lithuania. Documents in the original form must be brought to the appointment.

Temporary residence permits for UK citizens and their family members are issued on a preferential basis, as British nationals are regarded as citizens of the so-called advanced economies (G7) along with Australia, Japan, the United States of America, Canada, South Korea, and New Zealand.

This is why temporary Lithuanian residence permits for them or their family members are issued in an expedited and simplified manner and remain valid for a longer period of time – for five instead of three years.

Svetlana Naumčik is the associate partner of ILAW, a legal entity formed by Attorneys-at-Law in accordance with the Law on the Bar of the Republic of Lithuania.